A few weeks ago, the Bassmaster Classic was in my schedule, not to fish it, but to watch the greatest sporting event in the world. Everything seemed amazing about it, all the cool things to see. There was so much fun to be had at the conventions with all the companies and their new baits. I remember reading the Bassmaster magazine and turning it over to see a Rapala ad. It showed a new bait that was going to be released at the Classic. I got all excited and couldn’t wait to see it. I was met with disappointment.
I will not go into a history paper about Lauri Rapala and the background of the company. (already wrote that for a school research paper) Instead I will begin walking on thin ice, when I “bash” Rapala.
When I arrived at one of the two booths I am aware was selling the Rapala bait, I already knew what I was looking for. The picture and description had been released a day earlier than was intended on Bassmaster as well as a few other sites the day after. I was shocked at what I saw. It was a Shadow Rap, (last year’s release) with a shortened body, and a new ability. This bait could actually “do something no other bait could,” it could float! I am shocked even today that Rapala tried to pass this bull off as a new design. I don’t care who sat on their lazy behind and built this, if it is a new release, do it anywhere else than the Classic.
I ended up purchasing three of these jerkbaits and testing their action. To be honest, there is nothing that is going to be pulled out of the shadows other than your money. This bait has nothing special that allows you to put a well established company like Rapala on the package. It is a good idea that should have been sold as a variation of the shadow rap, LAST YEAR.
Now I will actually explain why I feel so strongly about this topic. I love Rapala, they have created many amazing baits in the past. My favorite by far is the Shad Rap and many anglers including Ott Defoe, a Bassmaster Elite Series Pro can work magic with baits like these. The Balsa baits that Rapala made are the reason the company is so great. They have an action like no other bait on the market. When Rapala slows innovation of new Balsa baits, they just become a cheap knockoff of Lucky Craft or Megabass. They are mimicking these jerkbaits and “innovating”, but they are not a huge jerkbait company. They are a company with a reputation to keep, and sitting around copying YOUR OWN DESIGN is not cutting it.
One last statement I must make is that Rapala is a mediocre company when it comes to the quality of hooks and baits. If Rapala was to stop putting VMC hooks on their baits, and find something stronger that doesn’t stop the action, or build a whole new slow rising balsa bait that could have a good action with better quality hooks, then they would be able to compete with the greatest companies out there, Their sales would come from people that like the baits at a higher price, with some durability that is put in.
To sum everything up, Rapala is a company with great potential. As they are now, putting a new bill on a bait, or making a bunch of jerbaits just doesn’t seem to be the right way to approach such historical company. I LOVE RAPALA and I will never stop buying their stuff in hopes of a new balsa bait coming out, but until they begin to make real baits, I will stay disappointed in what the company is today. When they stop putting baits in the old thick plastic boxes, it seems as though they have moved on, and left their fans to find new baits, I will never stop throwing the off running shad raps and dt cranks since they are amazing. I just would like to see some improvement in Rapala itself.

Thanks for reading! I hope this doesn’t make people too mad, but I had to speak my mind about this…it was like a fire burning inside me.